Wednesday, June 19, 2013

St. Francis House Week V

I cannot believe it's week five already; my time here has absolutely soared by, but at the same time I have more than a month left. It's certainly been a ride, but depending on the day it's either bumpy or beautiful. Especially according to the case managers I've become really strong at doing case management, which was one of my goals for coming here. My relationship with the clients is fairly strong; I recognize our regulars and almost everyone recognizes me, which is great because I have honestly developed relationships. It's also a friendly reminder that no matter how terrible my day might be, I have 30 shining, strong examples of how much worse it can get right before my eyes.

However, a relationship that has been rough on my emotional health has been with our ED. She's a former cop and has clearly never been a case manager before, so we go back and forth about her treatment of our clients. She's also completely OCD/neurotic/nit picky and obsessed with perfect order, so she helps remind me how not to act when I become crazy involved in my job. Unfortunately, it's clear she's become burnt out on the job, but as an intern there's not much that I can, nor should I, say about any of it. Oftentimes I'm just an observer, because she likes to go on firing sprees and I'm certain the Bonner Program wouldn't be too thrilled if I were a casualty.

I am so excited to return to the Neighborhood Center and the CCE for my new spot as Community Organizer for Hunger and Homelessness, and in November as (fingers crossed) the new Community Service Chair for Alpha Chi. I feel like I've developed in broadening my understanding of what I am capable of in the realm of social work. Because Beth and Maura have taught me how to sign people up for food stamps, Safelink phones, SS cards, Birth Certificates, and what a real pantry service looks like, I'm just that much more of an ally to the hungry and the homeless than I used to be. I can also be an asset to our philanthropy in AXO because I've spoken to countless battered women about their stories. Like I said in the last post, I feel that I've transcended and now see what's truly important. What's important is what you give back and physically do, not receiving the highest score on a quiz or winning Greek Week or Greenfeather. What's important is helping people get back on their feet, or feeling inspired or even simply full from their first meal in a week.

Some quotes that elucidate how I feel about my purpose:

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
― Charles Dickens 
 “It's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.”
― Barack Obama
"There's no better exercise for the heart than bending over and lifting someone up."

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